At where the Emperor sat, The Crown Prince was on his right, and Gillian was on the left.
Valletta sat across from the Emperor, with Carlon Delphine and Duke Leon surrounding her.
“First of all, I am very happy to see that you’re safe, Lady Delight.”
“Thank you for your kind words.”
“I’m very sorry for what Count Delight had done.”
The Emperor sighed and shook his head as if he was really sorry.
‘Is he sincere, this person?’
Valletta raised her head curiously and looked at the Emperor.
Seeing him look at her with a matchless benevolent expression, Valletta smiled.
Come to think of it, the Emperor was certainly one of the people who regretted the loss of their ally, Count Delight.
He was probably not very pleased that the existence that would have rolled over on it’s own if he only waited for a while, left.
“It was inevitable that the angry jewel that was abandoned without its preciousness being recognized would destroy the jewelry box.”
“Yes, there was Count Delight and the Magic Tower’s Master.”
The Emperor’s eyes narrowed at Valletta’s words, but soon he laughed a little and lightly nodded.
Clearly, she could not compare to his experience and conversation skills.
“Yes, although nobody knew.”
“However, the Magic Tower’s Master has gone too far this time. Even if a war broke out, it wouldn’t be surprising. No Magic Tower’s Master has ever massacred an aristocrat’s family.”
That was too much. It was that hateful guy who asked if it was okay to overthrow the Imperial Family.
For Valletta, it wasn’t worth it to bet all her fortune on a war that the hateful guy would love the most.
“Ah, this is Gillian. He’s the president of the Alchemist Association that you would join.”
“You can call me Gillian.”
A fairly coarse voice was heard. Valletta stared blankly at the hand extended in front of her, then reached out and lightly grabbed it.
“If you develop safe and sound, Gillian was thinking of making you the President of the Alchemist Association.”
At the Emperor’s words, Valletta turned her head with a tired look and leaned back into her chair.
… Seriously, everyone in this world was only thinking of cutting off her limbs.
“I’m sorry, but I have no intention of belonging anywhere, or stepping over someone else’s head anymore, Your Majesty.”
Carlon Delphine’s expression stiffened at the sudden fastball.
“Oh my, of course you’re still immature and young right now so you might think so…”
“There’s one more thing I need to clear up. I’m sorry to the Crown Prince, but I don’t intend to keep our engagement now that the Delight Family has collapsed.”
Carlon Delphine grabbed Valletta’s hand under the table. Valletta flinched and looked at him.
Both the expressions of Carlon Delphine and Duke Leon were not very good.
She relaxed her body a little more, and slowly closed and opened her eyes.
‘… I got a little agitated. I made a mistake.’
Milrode’s expression was already distorted in despair. Looking at him with a shaky gaze, she felt an unnamed sense of guilt.
Not only that, but the Emperor’s expression was also not good. The only one she didn’t know what they’re thinking of, was the man named Gillian.
“Perhaps because Lady Delight’s experience so far has been ruthless for her age, but it seems like her distrust of other people has deepened.”
“… That’s possible. It’s understandable, considering the horrible report and the personality of the Magic Tower’s Master.”
The Emperor simply nodded and smiled benevolent, deciding to just move on with Carlon Delphine’s defense.
Everyone could tell that it was completely fake. The Emperor’s gaze returned to Valletta.
“However, Lady Delight, you might not realize it because you’re still young, but words can not be taken back once they’re spoken. So, you should always be careful.”
“Don’t forget that a single word could change your situation 180 degrees. Authority, power and money could, in fact, make it possible.”
Valletta took a breath. Not because she was afraid, but because she was annoyed. It was just for a short time, but she seemed to have understood Reinhardt’s ‘Should I wipe them all?’.
For a moment, Valletta struggled to suppress the urge to call Jin and Nereid.
She just wanted to live a normal life like everyone else.
As if trying to calm herself, Valletta slowly opened her mouth, concentrating on the warmth that was holding her back.
“… I guess I got too nervous since I’m in a place with too many people. I will deeply remember the advice you have given me, Your Majesty.”
After Valletta answered, the Emperor’s mood brightened. He smiled and nodded his head.
“You may think it was just an old man’s nagging, but it’s the wisdom of life. I’m sure it will be useful someday.”
“Yes. Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Valletta recalled Count Delight. Considering those times she had to kneel down and bow her head in front of him, this was nothing.
“Sure. It has been postponed, but we still need to hold the wedding, so how about staying in the Imperial Palace?”
“… I’m still not sure yet.”
Recalling what Carlon Delphine had said before coming here, Valletta lowered her eyelids and shook her head.
“There’s only one thing you need to do. You can make various excuses and say that you want to stay in the Duke’s residence.”
“… Then, would it be solved?”
“Since they have no excuse to force you right now, they have no choice but to let you. At least for a while.”
At Valletta’s answer, the Emperor’s face hardened once again. Milrode already clenched his fists and did not say anything.
Deep despair was buried in his blue eyes that trembled in shock.
“… Your Majesty, she had suffered so much that she couldn’t sleep at night. She’s adjusting to some extent in my mansion, so could you please give her some time?’
“Wouldn’t it be okay to do it gradually in the Imperial Palace?”
“This is also what the child wanted, I found her first and protected her, so I want to be her guardian for a while.”
Carlon Delphine politely bowed his head. The Emperor looked displeased.
Seeing that there was nothing out of place with Carlon Delphine’s words, there seemed to be no way to force the issue.
“Even if you enter the Imperial Palace, you don’t need to get married right away. Does Lady Delight also agree with Duke Delphine?”
“… Yes, I asked the Duke. I can’t sleep at night and have nightmares. I don’t want to bring such a state to the Imperial palace.”
Valletta turned her head and lowered her eyes. How did Reinhardt put on a sad expression?
When she thought about it, the only thing that came to mind was his expression, not the person. A look that would be forgiven no matter what.
To be honest, she doesn’t know the appearance of saying sad words with an expressionless face.
“… Milrode, what do you think?”
The Emperor handed over the choice to the Crown Prince. Milrode opened his mouth with heavy eyes.
“You can ask me for help, Valletta.”
At Milrode’s words, Valletta looked at him silently. He was too soft and weak to be used as a shield.
He will never be able to protect her in front of the law, and she could never hope for him to protect her from the Emperor’s hands.
She repeatedly opened and closed her mouth. She doesn’t know if she could say it there or not.
Perhaps, if one day she was threatened by someone and her only choice was the Crown Prince and the hateful guy, she would choose Reinhardt.
“Your Highness the Crown Prince, I wonder how much you, who always walks on the right path, could accept me.”
He wanted to walk in that way. It would be better if he meets someone who would suit him, than trying to get along with someone who doesn’t suit him.
Milrode could not say anything anymore. He just blankly stared at her, then slowly lowered his head with a disappointed smile.
“If Lady Valletta sincerely wishes to, then you can seek protection under Duke Delphine for a while.”
“… Thank you for your consideration.”
She could feel his always bright voice, lower further. She was not used to the sudden honorifics, but it was better to feel a moderate distance.
“But the Lady should not forget. You’re the Crown Princess and will be the one who becomes the Empress. Wherever you are, whatever you do, never forget that you are my person.”
Valletta did not answer. She turned her head and looked at his blue eyes that seemed to have gotten a little murky.
The Emperor watched the situation as he rubbed his chin, then stood up with a smile on his face.
“I’ve held onto you for such a long time that you couldn’t even enjoy the banquet. Everyone has agreed, including the Crown Prince, so I will count on you, Duke Delphine.”
“Yes, thank you.”
“Well then, let us all enjoy the rest of the time.”
The Emperor rose from his seat, the Crown Prince said his goodbye lightly, leaving her as he followed the Emperor. However, Gillian stayed there for a while and looked at Valletta with a strange expression before standing up.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on your skills. I heard you can make 2 advance-grade potions a day, correct?”
Valletta raised her head to meet Gillian’s one remaining eye. His eyes seemed to be trying to measure her, but he did not seem to have properly grasped it.
‘Two advance-grade potions.’
It seemed that the amount Count Delight had figured out was about that much. Or hid the fact from the Emperor while knowing that she could do more.
She was not sure if she should be glad that they didn’t find out as much as she thought, or click her tongue at being caught being able to produce advance-grade potion.
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